Prestwick, Scotland....BAE Systems Regional Aircraft announced today at the Airline Purchasing and Maintenance Expo in London that it has obtained European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval to upgrade all previous TCAS 7.0 installations on its BAe 146/Avro RJ fleet in Europe to the new TCAS 7.1 standard.
For retrofit aircraft, this new standard is mandatory from 1 December 2015 for all aircraft flying in European airspace.
Two major European operators of the aircraft type – Swiss International Airlines with a fleet of 20 Avro RJs and TNT Airways S.A. with 16 BAe 146QT freighters – have already purchased the BAE Systems modification.
TCAS 7.1 (Traffic Collision and Avoidance System) is the latest standard of this anti collision software system and introduces two primary changes to the software logic to further improve safety in situations where two aircraft are either ascending or descending simultaneously, or to improve pilot responses when they are required to adjust vertical speed.
Depending on the standard of TCAS fitted to aircraft the upgrade can either be accommodated by a replacement of the existing TCAS II computer or through a software upgrade.
Swiss purchased the software upgrade and have already installed in on to their fleet. The Swiss International Airlines modification has already gained EASA approval.
In the case of TNT, BAE Systems was able to engineer an upgrade solution to an earlier version of TCAS already installed under a third party modification on to their BAe 146 QT fleet and EASA approval is expected by July 2013. This expertise means that BAE Systems can offer this upgrade for third party TCAS installations and other aircraft types.